Rhys Darby

Rhys Darby, the legend that is Murray. Everything and anything to do with Rhys post it here please.
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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby Venus » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:20 pm

A couple of interview with Rhys:

Darby's flying high
He's achieved international success, but all Rhys Darby wants is a good old Kiwi summer
TRACEY COOPER Last updated 15:09 15/12/2011

Craig Simcox FEELING HOMESICK: Rhys Darby is looking forward to being on home soil.

All Rhys Darby wants for Christmas is to get back to New Zealand.

It's not that he's unhappy with life in the United States, where he's been based this time around since about June. But, as he says down the line from Los Angeles, "it's all very well being over here, but, you know, it's not there, it's not New Zealand".

"I just miss home. I`m looking forward to a New Zealand summer," he says.

He and his family – wife Rosie and children, Finn, 6, and Theo, nearly 2 – will get their Christmas wish, flying back to New Zealand next week for a well-earned break.

"I can't wait to get home. We're just going to have a good old Kiwi Christmas in the sun."

Adapting to family life in the US has been an interesting experience, he says, especially with Finn attending school.

"It's a bit weird, to be fair.

"But the kids are taking it in their stride. Finn, we've been dragging him around the world since he was born so he's used to it."

And Christmas in the US has been something for the kids especially to enjoy.

"It's a bit over the top, I tell ya," he says.

"There's houses around here that must have spent millions of dollars on their Christmas lighting and there's a lot of fancy sort of Santa workshops and things like that in the shopping malls. There's been no expense spared on massive reindeer decorations and what have you."

Darby, who first came to fame as the bumbling Murray in Flight of the Conchords, has released a DVD of his last standup comedy tour of New Zealand in time for Christmas, and says live comedy remains his passion, despite his career also turning to movies, television shows and writing.

"I do love standup. No matter what I do with acting and filming various things, it's still the heart of what comedy is to me. Either making things up off the cuff or telling people personal stories of crazy situations I've been in, just getting that instant feedback of live performance ..."

And while the DVD was filmed on the last night of his 2010 tour in Auckland's impressive Civic Theatre, Darby says he recalls performing in Hamilton and says – as most other visiting comedians do – he always gets a good reception in the city.

"It was one of my best shows. It's where you are located there, you've got to have a good sense of humour and you like to have a good laugh, you can laugh at yourself."

Darby has made a successful career out of getting people to laugh at him and it's got to the stage where – in shades of British comic Rowan Atkinson – "I kind of can just pull some weird shapes and people tend to laugh at the way I look".

Darby, 37, grew up on a diet of British comedy and still claims Michael Crawford's performances as the bumbling and hapless Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do Have 'Em as an inspiration.

"He was one of my heroes and, of course Rowan Atkinson's stuff, Monty Python, I was a big Monty Python fan."

In recent years, he says there's been an influx of British comics to the US, led by the likes of The Office star Ricky Gervais, and that's helped make that style of comedy more popular.

"I have been lucky to get myself established at quite a good level here, people know what I do so it's been quite popular, that kind of style, so we've sort of fitted in there."

Which means he'll be in the US for a while yet, although he spends a fair bit of time in the air flying around the world for his varied roles.

"I'll be actually heading over to the UK as soon as I get back to the US. I'm doing a TV show over there. Talk about jumping about. I definitely make use of the elite lounges, I tell you that much. They all know me by my name."

Along with films, television and comedy shows, Darby has also found time to write a book, due out in about April, but says his ultimate dream is to be able to live and work back in New Zealand.

"It's kind of a double-edged sword, being as successful as I can be in my chosen field but not earning enough money to be in New Zealand, because there are not really the jobs there.

"But what I want to try and do ultimately is to create a television show where I can get the US or UK to fund it and make it but actually shoot it at home, that's the dream."

No reason to doubt he'll get there, but until then he'll have to settle for a decent break back at a Kiwi beach for the summer and there are also plans for another tour of New Zealand too.

"I'll be back next year, I'm working on a new show now which I'm going to take to the UK and do a tour, I haven't done a UK tour yet. I'm going to come to New Zealand and sort of get it worked on before I take it over there so it'll be nice and fresh, around about April or May next year."

Until then, fans of Darby will have to be satisfied with his latest DVD.

The DVD It's Rhys Darby Night was released on Monday.

- Waikato Times


Very exciting that Rhys is going to tour the UK and he's doing a British TV show. I wonder if it's a new pilot or one of the pilots has been commissioned into a full series?

Rhys Darby has got the gift of the gab
By Lydia Jenkin
7:00 AM Saturday Dec 17, 2011

Comedian Rhys Darby is capping off his very big year with a live DVD. He talks to Lydia Jenkin

Among the many jobs comedian Rhys Darby has had of late is being one of Santa's little helpers. He voiced an elf in Aardman Animation's Arthur Christmas. It was just an afternoon session in a vocal booth.

"The funniest thing was," says Darby on the phone from Los Angeles, "at the end of it they said, 'you might be one of the few elves that we don't actually have to adjust the voice tone'. I don't know whether to take that as an insult or a compliment, but I guess I was high-pitched enough."

It seems all three Kiwi stars of the Flight of the Conchords TV show are in demand for family movies these days.

Well, Jemaine Clement did voice one of the indecipherable minions in the animated Despicable Me. And Bret McKenzie has written songs for The Muppets film (helmed by FOTC director James Bobin), and McKenzie has also hinted at a FOTC feature in interviews.

"Yeah, every couple of years those rumours seem to spark up," says Darby. "It's when one of us gets interviewed, generally, and it only takes a couple of words and all of a sudden it's big news. But all three of us have spoken and we're trying to connect at the moment. Jemaine's just called me actually, and I think next year we will try to start writing. I think making the Muppets movie has sort of inspired Bret to see that it is possible."

Darby has been busy enough without worrying about further FOTC projects. He's had roles in Yes Man and The Boat That Rocked, visited Rwanda for Intrepid Journeys, and attempted being a leading man in local romantic comedy Love Birds.

So he's striking while the iron is hot ... .

"You can't be this talented and lose heat," he laughs. "No, I've been lucky, I guess, in that once I got in with the American entertainment system and got myself a good agent, that's what it's all about over here. You've got to have the right people representing you."

Indeed, earlier this year he got a part in new CBS sitcom - a comedy of manners, How To Be a Gentleman - and moved his family to LA only for it to be cancelled after three episodes.

"We filmed nine episodes, and then halfway through filming the ninth one, they took us upstairs and said, 'right the show's being cancelled'. We weren't sure whether the show was hitting the right marks or not. I had no idea myself how it all worked with the numbers over here, but it is a big numbers game. I think we were pulling in, would you believe it, only eight million viewers per episode. Shocking isn't it?"

Darby was praised for his role, and he wasn't ultimately disappointed to be freed up for new work.

"For me it was kind of bittersweet, because I didn't really feel that I was working up to my potential being in that show. It was a multi-camera, laugh track sitcom which is a classic idea, but it's kind of weird.

"The humour of the show wasn't right up my alley, I prefer something with a bit more realism to it rather than set-up punchlines. It felt a bit like a modern day Happy Days. So I was quite happy to get out of there and get ready for the next opportunity."

There were also rumours late last year that he would be replacing Steve Carell in the American version of The Office, and though he was in the running, this didn't pan out either, though in hindsight Darby isn't too disappointed.

"I had a big two-hour interview with them, and went on set and met the writers and whatnot, and it was quite exciting for a while there. And then I heard nothing. In the end they decided to go down another route. But once again I almost think it was a blessing. I mean, I've no idea whether I would've been great in the role. I don't know whether the show would have taken off in a different direction, I don't know if it would have been more or less popular than it is right now, but at the moment it feels a bit like people have given up watching it. So it's a bullet dodged in some ways."

Darby says despite those ups and downs he feels blessed that his voice and persona has become his calling card. "The roles I am getting, they always essentially want me to be myself. I take it as a compliment that people love laughing at me."

And when Hollywood - or ad agencies on both sides of the Pacific - haven't filled his diary, he's also had time to pursue his stand-up work here and aboard. Darby toured New Zealand with a new show late last year, with his penultimate performance at Auckland's Civic Theatre filmed for the DVD It's Rhys Darby Night!.

One of his first and most brilliant jokes, involves a kazoo, a fly, and an ambulance, and his 55-minute performance includes tales of filming computer ads with Dr Dre, childhood recollections, musings on Transformers and a whole lot of funny walks, along with a set designed to echo Darby's askew world.

The extras section is a treasure trove too, with Rhys doing segments as two of his favourite characters - park ranger Bill Napier, and adventure tourism entrepreneur Ron Taylor, at a park ranger station and on the edge of a lake respectively, in full costume - much as you would in a TV show really.

"The Bill Napier character is inspired by Fred Dagg, and also just a whole lot of people I've met on the road in New Zealand, and mixed them up."

"And of course I was in the army for a while so I've met a lot of men's men, and southern types. And the other thing, is that when I was a kid I always wanted to be a ranger. So I'm essentially playing the part of another dream, or another track that I could've ended up taking.

"The advantage of being a comic and an actor is that I can still be any of these other things I ever wanted to be, I just pretend."


Who:Rhys Darby
What: Live comedy DVD It's Rhys Darby Night! out now.



Good to know Jemaine has been in contact with Rhys. :)
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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby Venus » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:58 pm

Rhys' book "This Way to Spaceship" is out now. :)

Found this article to be an interesting read:

'I just say yes to everything'
Last updated 10:36 16/04/2012

ROCKET MAN: Rhys Darby has had more international success than most Kiwi comics would dare hope for.

Fame of the kind that gets you stopped in the street? It waxes and wanes, says Rhys Darby.

He's living with his family in a hotel in Los Angeles at present, and when he popped out for a pizza the other day, the security guard tried to stop him taking it back in, mistaking him for a pizza delivery boy.

Fame at the level where you get stalkers? Well, the hotel is used by lots of celebrities, says Darby.

Even as he speaks, there are 20 or so young girls outside waiting for someone, but "it's not me, because I keep on walking about and waving to them and I get nothing!"

That's OK, though. "I quite like the level I'm at now, where I'm still king of the underground, very much a cult figure."

He gives a roaring, wheezy sort of laugh to make it clear that he's kidding, kind of.

For the past few years, Darby has been unavoidable - his role as idiotic band manager Murray in two series of the Flight of the Conchords television series from 2007 onwards led to a flurry of highly paid, badly paid or unpaid activity around the world, from his twin bases of Auckland and Los Angeles.

There were film roles in English comedy The Boat that Rocked, the Jim Carrey comedy Yes Man, and the big by New Zealand standards romantic comedy Lovebirds (as well as a small United States independent film, Coming and Going, of which he says, "It's come and it's gone").

He appeared in TV advertisements for local telco 2 Degrees, for Hewlett-Packard, where he hung out with Dr Dre and Annie Leibovitz, or for Nike, where he played tennis with Roger Federer. He popped up on 7 Days and The Jaquie Brown Diaries and Intrepid Journeys and on a student radio show about monsters.

There was celebrity activism in support of Greenpeace's Sign On climate-change campaign and Auckland Zoo's anti-palm-oil campaign, and he persisted with the standup - the job he'd been working towards since he was 6 and some girls in the playground observed his antics and said "You should be a comedian".

Part of the secret of his success, he reckons, is "I just say yes to everything, because what have you got to lose?"

HE ALSO said yes when Auckland-based publisher PQ Blackwell suggested he write a book. It's a kind of autobiography - chucklesome anecdotes from his childhood, from his time in the army and as a Body Shop trainee manager, and from his runaway comedy career.

There are random comic musings and schoolboy doodles of jetpacks, Hawaiian-shirt designs and his dance moves, and there's a rather sweet page by his wife, Rosie, in which she reveals that when compared with his character, Murray, her husband has the same unbounded ambition and hair, but a deeper voice and better dress sense.

The book is called This Way to Spaceship, and bracketing the memoir are several chapters of nonsense built on the idea that the world is going to end in 2012, with advice on how to locate and board the secret rocket ship that is going to take the world's VIPs into space to escape Armageddon.

So Darby is doing interviews to drum up some excitement about his book. It's over the phone, so Darby helps out with the observational stuff. He says he's pretty scruffy today: his famously thick hair looking "pretty lush", and he's wearing a Gap T-shirt and "cool-looking" grey pants.

He's living on the 15th floor of the hotel, which is quite fancy, "the sort of place where the artworks on the walls are twigs".

Rosie and Theodore, 2, are roaming about in the background, and Finn, 6, is at school.

Darby's career is at a curious in- between stage. Last year, CBS paid for the family to relocate to Los Angeles, because Darby had a central role in a new sitcom called How to Be a Gentleman.

The Darbys took a 12-month lease on a "lovely big pad with a pool", and Rhys started writing the book between shoots. But after a few months, the show was canned. "So there we were, living in Beverly Hills, unemployed."

They wrapped up the lease and moved into the hotel, and Darby finished the book. Then he wrote a complementary standup show, "because I can tour the world with that and sell the books at the same time".

The tour starts in New Zealand this week, goes to Britain in July and then to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

So where does that leave the US acting career that was looking so meteoric?

"I've had a few auditions. I've had a few scripts come by. I've turned a lot of stuff down because there's a lot of bollocks coming through Hollywood."

There have been roles Darby wanted but missed out on, and then the movie has come out "and it's been s...", and he's thought, "Oh God, that was a bullet dodged!"

Can he name one of those dodged bullets?

He tries. "What was it called? It was set in the Middle Ages and it had Danny McBride in it and they all smoke marijuana. It had that woman who won the Oscar for Black Swan. What's her name? Used to be in Star Wars."

He gets the giggles and gives up. "I'm not really part of the game here. I don't really know anyone. I don't care."

He means Natalie Portman. The movie was Your Highness. It was a bomb.

There have been small TV roles on offer, but many have fallen through. "I'd do an audition and get the part, and then because it was shooting in a couple of weeks, they'd say 'It's going to take longer than that to get your visa'. It's a pain in the bum."

He turned down a big role he was offered - in the Steve Carell comedy Dinner for Schmucks - because Theodore was being born "at the exact time that I was meant to be filming".

"But the guy that took my role from me, Chris O'Dowd, then went on to get lots of parts straight after that. He ended up being in Bridesmaids. They essentially stole my career. I see him around town. I go, 'I know what you're up to'. "

He's joking again, kind of.

"It's a difficult game. You've got to roll with the punches, take the roles you can and hope that they're good. I've realised after writing the book that if I really want things to go my way, I've got to do it myself, so I'm going to write a screenplay this year. I've got the idea and I'm going to get stuck into it straight after the tour.

"Hopefully, I'll be one of these guys that'll write it and direct it and stand in front of it."

He isn't too sad that the CBS sitcom died, despite the fabulous salary. After the improvising and wry humour of Flight of the Conchords, How to Be a Gentleman was a straitjacket.

"It was multi-camera, laugh track, set-up punchline. It felt so awkward for me. I was worried that I could get stuck in a mediocre sitcom for six years. Now I'm free to kind of wait.

"You've got to be patient. I think the second half of this year, something big is going to land. Possibly a spaceship."

Ah yes, the book. The memoir stuff is great fun, but the coda about boarding spaceships before the end of the world. What on earth was he thinking?

To Darby, it's perfectly reasonable. About the time Blackwell asked him to write a funny book "the world started to fall apart, with respect to Christchurch and then the tsunami in Japan".

"It was a very weird time. I started thinking about it being 2012 and the end of the world, and I thought I'd tie everything together."

IN PRINT and in person, Darby displays unquenchable self- confidence, usually with a redeeming note of gentle self- mockery, but I think he's being straight up when he says, with puppyish enthusiasm, that the anecdotes in the book are "wonderful to read" or "I don't think people expected that I could write."

Darby, at 38, has had more international success than most Kiwi comics would dare to hope for. Was he just very lucky or has he some comedic X-factor?

It's hard, says Darby, to go back in time, change your route and see if things end differently, "but I can say with a lot of confidence that my type of material has always had universal appeal".

A decade ago, the British comics at New Zealand comedy festivals advised him to get his act to Britain, because no-one was telling physical stories with mime and sound effects like he did. His strong accent and "slightly odd voice" were bonuses.

Darby had ambition and drive. He could perform, he had material, and the stars lined up.

"The Conchords and I were in the same place at the same time at Edinburgh. Jemaine asked me to do the radio series with him. I had nothing on - well, I had clothes on, but I had no activities booked - and I did it. I just say yes to everything."

Amid the jolly japes and science-fiction surreality of Darby's book, there are some darker notes. He tells of a miserable few months in London, just before the Conchords took off, when he was desperately short of cash and stricken with a weird fungal infection, and seriously considered fleeing back to New Zealand. He also writes briefly, if cryptically, about a Kiwi tall- poppy syndrome, "orchestrated by the media".

What's that about? Which media outlet's been lopping the Darby poppy?

Darby gets vague, but it's just "the odd person who has a go at me, but knows nothing about me and will just have a jab or because of who I am and of what I've achieved".

He's referring to online comments suggesting he was selling out with all those ads, or that he wasn't funny on sketch show Radiradirah, or that he was overexposed.

He means the flurry of complaints from righteous bloggers after he fronted a campaign warning schoolkids about internet piracy.

He probably means a blog by Stuff.co.nz's Chris Philpott claiming Darby was up to 14:32 of his 15 minutes of fame. But he doesn't want to dwell on it.

"It's only little niggles here and there by chaps who are basically blogging in their underwear."

Fame and fortune have been largely delightful, so he's not going to complain too much about the small downsides. He will keep on trying to make people laugh whether they like it or not.

"I enjoy it. I enjoy the awkward looks my wife always gives me when I'm saying the wrong things in a restaurant, so I just do it.

"But if I'm tired, or I'm not in the right mood, I'll be a boring guy who's hanging out with a woman who's nagging him all the time."

There's a kind of clattering noise down the line.

"Argh! She can hear me."

He chortles, entertained once more by the fact that he's being a bit of a dick, and in doing so has made somebody laugh.

Rhys Darby's standup show, based around This Way to the Spaceship, is at Wellington's Opera House, May 3-5; Auckland's SkyCity Theatre, May 8-12; and he is in other events around the country.

Details comedyfestival. co.nz.

- © Fairfax NZ News


I must have missed the fact that Rhys was offered a role in Dinner For Schmucks.
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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby LauraK » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:51 pm

"It's only little niggles here and there by chaps who are basically blogging in their underwear."
:whip: Oh snizzap! :thumb:

So he was supposed to be the blind dude in DfS? :lol: Bummer that he couldn't take it but understand the reason why. :)

I so want his book, sounds like it'll be a good read; part serious and part funny. I really like him.
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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby 4everconchordsfan » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:36 pm

Venus wrote:Rhys' book "This Way to Spaceship" is out now. :)

"The Conchords and I were in the same place at the same time at Edinburgh. Jemaine asked me to do the radio series with him. I had nothing on - well, I had clothes on, but I had no activities booked - and I did it. I just say yes to everything."

:rolls: :roll2: :rolls: :roll2: :rolls:

I love that he is so silly and a such a lovely man.
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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby Venus » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:35 pm

LauraK wrote:So he was supposed to be the blind dude in DfS? :lol: Bummer that he couldn't take it but understand the reason why. :)

:nod: It would have been cool to have Jemaine, Kristen and Rhys all in one film but I totally understand why he couldn't take up the part.

Agreed, 4ever. :)
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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby Venus » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:06 pm

Rhys is going to be on the panel of a new comedy panel show that will air on Saturday nights in the UK starting from this Saturday (30th June) at 10.20pm on ITV1 8):

Mad Mad World
Episode: 1 of 7
Saturday, 30 June 2012, 10:20PM - 11:20PM
Entertainment & Comedy

Paddy McGuinness hosts Mad Mad World, a brand new Saturday night comedy panel show on ITV1, in which comedians team up with celebrities to take part in a light-hearted quiz that looks at fun news stories, events and TV clips from every corner of the globe.

Each week celebrities will be teamed up with the two team captains who are international comedy star Rhys Darby and the bracingly British stand up Rufus Hound. This week joining them on the panel is Janice Dickinson, Louis Walsh, Rob Rouse and Jason Byrne.

The weekly rounds will vary from funny TV clips to foreign talent shows to amusing international news stories and foreign customs, curios and cultures.

Mad Mad World is a Roughcut Television and GroupM production for ITV1.

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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby Venus » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:30 pm

Rhys is a new columnist for the NZ Herald. I've enjoyed reading his columns. Here are his first 3. 8)

Just call me Rhysdarby
By Rhys Darby
5:30 AM Monday Sep 10, 2012

Our new columnist, Rhys Darby, ponders the Olympics and his new name, "Rhysdarby".

Rhys Darby. Photo / Supplied

Hello readers! It's me, Rhys Darby. I'm so used to hearing people use both my names when referring to me that even I'm doing it now. Kids seem to do it the most. Every time I arrive at my friend's house his boys run to the door and yell, "Hello Rhys Darby!" I'm pretty sure they think that Rhysdarby is my first name.

Anyway ... welcome to my very first Herald column. (Sound of heralding trumpet and lone man clapping). Every Monday, I'll be reporting in from wherever I am, using this wonderful newspaper as a canvas for my thoughts. So ... here we are.

It's September 2012 and already it feels like the year is half over. I've had a pretty busy year so far. My autobiographical science-fiction novel This Way to Spaceship was released back in April.

After adapting it to a stage show, I took it to a few Kiwi cities, then set out on my first British stand-up tour.

With my family in tow, plus jackets, props and books, we took off with more suitcases than a branch of Lands for Bags ... of course.

It always feels good leaving a country on the verge of winter. Especially when you head to the opposite hemisphere. Unfortunately for us, the Mayan prophecy came true and the seasons revolted ... literally. The British summer smashed us with three weeks of biblical rain (yes, I'm aware I'm crossing streams with my ancient readings there).

Still, I performed my show in 15 different cities, some of which, to be fair, were more like villages (Yeovil) and others, to be less fair, were more like crap holes. It didn't matter, the crowds were splendid. Even the small ones who only turned up because "something" had come to town (Yeovil).

It's been a great year for Great Britain and I think they truly love it when the place lives up to its name. When we arrived, Londoners were still buzzing from the Queen's jubilee and now they had another even bigger show to put on.

The eager politeness from shopkeepers seemed almost as foreign as the thousands of guests streaming through for the Olympics.

The wife and I got into the spirit of things and attended an Olympic event. We chose dressage. Why we chose this, I'll never know. Oh ... hang on, that's right, we were given free tickets.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed watching horses walk around in diagonals.

Leaving the mysteries of sport behind, I took my family to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival. I did 24 shows in a row over the month of August. Yes, we artists are capable of a marathon too.

Finn, my 6-year-old, was an official reviewer and made constant blogs on his website. My show may have sold a lot of tickets but it was Finn who was asked whether he could attend another festival in Europe!

"No, I said. We need to get home. I have a job writing a column for the Herald."

Finn looked up at me and said, "Whatever, Rhysdarby."


Going lala for meetings
By Rhys Darby
9:30 AM Monday Sep 17, 2012

I've even had meetings about meetings in Los Angeles, writes Rhys Darby.

Los Angeles - California's city of angels - is really the city of meetings. Photo / AP

Hello everyone and welcome to the new column everyone's talking about. By everyone I mean mainly me, my mother and some of her close friends who live in Half Moon Bay.

Two weeks ago my family and I stayed in Los Angeles. It makes for a wonderful halfway stop-off point when you're flying from Britain with moaning children but that's not the real reason we were there. I was there specifically for meetings. Some call LA the city of angels. I prefer to call it the city of meetings. It has a certain ring to it (yeah, the ring of a phone).

LA people love to have meetings and when you're in LA for a week you become an LA person. So there we were ... living the dream, you know the dream, that dream about having meetings. I'm not exaggerating when I say 'there's a whole lotta meetin' going on!' I've even had meetings about meetings.

This is the sort of dialogue: "Okay Rhys, you've got an important meeting today. I just want to have a quick meeting to make sure you're ready."

"Righto, umm I'm just in a meeting at the moment. Can I call you back?"

"Sure but I might get you to talk to my assistant because I'm going into a meeting shortly."

So what's up with all these meetings? Well, most of them are about television ideas. Usually it's me sitting in front of network execs persuading them they need a Kiwi character with great hair on their channel. I do the same thing with auditions. Once I tried to convince the director of Clash of the Titans that a New Zealander played a pivotal role in Greek mythology. Oh and Planet of the Apes? Yes a great film series ... but a lot of people I've spoken to agree it could really do with a New Zealand character. Maybe a quirky scientist from Grey Lynn?

When I'm in LA I stay at the W hotel. This hotel is a favourite for pop sensations such as One Direction. Lately by sheer coincidence they have been there every time I've been there.

I know this because there's a whole flock of screaming girls nesting outside on the grass verge like hungry gannets. They're there hoping to catch a glimpse of their idols. I saw the anticipation in their eyes as I pulled up to the valet in my car. I stepped out, waved and said "Hello everyone!" Some of them were fooled because they thought I had a British accent. But most were bitterly disappointed. Oh well, the joke's on them I thought as I turned to walk up the steps.

Then suddenly I heard an older lady's voice shouting from the back ...

"Hey are you Barry Manilow?"

I turned and there pointing at me with a pen poised for an autograph was one of the young girls' mothers.

"Yes ... But I've got an urgent meeting!


Willing & Able on flight of folly
5:30 AM Monday Sep 24, 2012

Christchurch is like a best friend who's had facial reconstruction.

The earthquake-damaged Christchurch CBD red zone. Photo / APN

Hi folks. Last week was pretty intense. A young lad by the name of Jake sent me a formal invitation to speak at his school in Christchurch. I took him up on the offer because boys of his age are exactly the demographic I hope to inspire.

The wife threw myself and my right-hand man "Buttons" on to a cheap Jetstar flight. This meant I had to set the alarm for 4:30am. The last time I had to wake up that early I was a teenage soldier hiding in a foxhole in Waiouru.

Anyway, it turned out I didn't need the alarm; my own body clock woke me up at precisely 4:29am. It's really spooky when that happens, isn't it? No doubt about it, I thought to myself, the human mind is an amazing thing.

Just before we boarded the plane we were informed by the flight attendant that we were positioned in the emergency exit row. "There's certain responsibilities if you're in that row," he said. "Are you willing and able?"

Buttons and I looked at each other. We were both thinking the same thing, so I jumped in first and said it: "Yes.

That's us ... We're the popular 1990s comedy duo Willing & Able."

We both laughed. The flight attendant smiled faintly, which seemed an obvious indication that he wanted more folly.

"I'm Able and he's Willing," I said.

Buttons put his hand out for the shake. "Leon Willing".

I followed this up with, "I'm able to write the jokes but he's the only one willing to enjoy them!"

We high-fived each other on that one but the attendant had already moved on ... visually.

The last laugh was from the airline, though. Once we'd taken our seats, they informed us that if we wanted a coffee or a biscuit we'd have to be "willing" to pay for it.

I hadn't been back to Christchurch since 2010 so I knew I was in for a shock. Radio New Zealand took me into the CBD "red zone" for an interview. I stood there with a confused look on my face trying to get my bearings. A lot of the rubble had been cleared so there were just holes where prominent buildings used to be.

It was like going home to see a best friend after hearing the news that he'd had facial reconstruction surgery. I hardly recognised him, but when we hugged, it felt good.

They took me to the site where I had launched my comedy career back in 1997, a building on Lichfield St. This was also the place where I first met my wife. Only now it wasn't a building at all. It was nothing. It was gone.

I stood there in silence and then shut my eyes. With my eyes closed I could see it all as it once was and somehow that was comforting.

There's no doubt about it, I thought to myself, the human spirit ... is an amazing thing.

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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby Nancy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:04 pm

Wonderful, especially the Christchurch one. :cry:
Oh, fish-like Lady
Lady-like Fish
I don't think so Bro, she's a Lady, Lady, Lady, Lady
No, no, she's a fish that's just a little bit
La-dy-ish! Yeah!

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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby ItsAllRyche » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:37 am

Ah, Love Rhys!!!

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Re: Rhys Darby

Postby Great H » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:23 am

It would've been nice to have Rhys do my voicemail message... *sigh*

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